circular economy

GC: n

CT: A circular economy is an alternative to a traditional linear economy (make, use, dispose) in which we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life.
Why a circular economy is important
As well as creating new opportunities for growth, a more circular economy will:

  • reduce waste
  • drive greater resource productivity
  • deliver a more competitive UK economy.
  • position the UK to better address emerging resource security/scarcity issues in the future.
  • help reduce the environmental impacts of our production and consumption in both the UK and abroad.

S: (last access: 24 January 2016)

N: 1. circular (adj): late 14c., from Anglo-French circuler, Old French circuler “circular” (14c., Modern French circulaire), from Latin circularis, from circulus). The metaphoric circular firing squad is attested by 1990.
economy (n): 1530s, “household management,” from Latin oeconomia (source of French économie, Spanish economia, German Ökonomie, etc.), from Greek oikonomia “household management, thrift,” from oikonomos “manager, steward,” from oikos “house, abode, dwelling” (cognate with Latin vicus “district,” vicinus “near;” Old English wic “dwelling, village;” see villa) + nomos “managing,” from nemein “manage” (see numismatic). Meaning “frugality, judicious use of resources” is from 1660s. The sense of “wealth and resources of a country” (short for political economy) is from 1650s.
2. A circular economy is one that is restorative and regenerative by design, and which aims to keep products, components and materials at their highest utility and value at all times, distinguishing between technical and biological cycles.
3. The best way to explain what a circular economy is, is to compare it to our current linear economy. In our current economic system, we extract resources from our planet at an ever-increasing pace, and turn them into a product that we mostly dispose after use. … A circular economy is one that is waste-free and resilient by design. It is a new economic model that is ambitious as well as practical. Designing the economy in a way that is restorative of ecosystems, ambitious with its innovation, and impactful for society, is a bold challenge but one that is achievable when guided by the below principles of the circular economy.

S: 1. OED –; (last access: 24 January 2016). 2. (last access: 24 January 2016). 3. TERMIUM PLUS (last access: 24 January 2016).


CR: environment, green economy, sustainable development.